Author Topic: Bhagavan and Pranayama - J. Punithavathy - M.P. Jayanti 2010.  (Read 2341 times)

Subramanian.R

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 Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi says that ultimately there is no body or world.  To realize that profound understanding we
engage in yoga practices.  On the physical level we practice hatha yoga to keep the body fit and to feel good. We should not
stop there, but go further. 

The word yoga is defined union with God.  According to Patanjali Muni, the father of yoga, there are eight rungs of the yoga\\
ladder of which yama, niyama, asana, pranayama are four.  The practitioner of yoga gradually climbs to higher rungs, ending
in Samadhi.  While yama and niyama refer to observance of rules of physical and mental discipline, the importance of asana
and pranayama can never be over emphasized.  However, they are not an end in themselves.  They are stepping stones and,
if properly observed, they lead to higher spiritual experience.

Sri Bhagavan says that in the cremation ground a flaming stick is used kindle the wood, enveloping the dead body.  When
the job is over, the stick is thrown into the fire.  Similarly, once we climb up to the highest level, we climb to attain Jnana or
God realization, if one's bent is towards devotion.  At that point even the mind will disappear.

Asanas and pranayama are meant to keep the body fit, which is our vehicle for this realization.  In modern times, because of
the effectiveness of yoga asanas, yoga has gained immense popularity but very often its role is misunderstood and it it is
taken as an end in itself. We should understand that it is only a means to attain God which is the true end.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Bhagavan and Pranayama - J. Punithavathy - M.P. Jayanti 2010.
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2013, 01:33:18 PM »

continues.....

(A Correction:  This article appears in Mountain Path, Jayanti, 2013 and NOT 2010.)

Caring only for the body by doing asana and pranayama is like polishing the shell of the coconut but ignoring the tender
water inside  (meditation) and kernel (God).  The real purpose of asanas is to make the body resilient for the strenuous
practice of meditation.  Sri Bhagavan never recommended  any method other than Vichara, 'Who am I?'.  That is His
Brahmastram, His tarake (reason) helping us cross the samsara mantram,  When someone insistently asked Him, He said
that pranayama helps a little to control the mind.  Though there is a vast field of techniques and disciplines which are taught
for meditation, Sri Bhagavan insists that the one true efficacious method is to still the mind permanently in Vichara.  He
said meditation  temporarily controls the mind.  When you come out of it, even after deep meditation, thoughts will rush in.
In a dam, the water is controlled by a shutter.  Even if there is a little gap, water leaks through it.  Normal meditation is like
the gardener who takes out the weeds one by one.  We patiently root out the thoughts one after the other.  In Vichara,
we go right to the heart and dig out the root cause of all  thoughts, the 'I'- thought. 

Imagine you are bobbing one the surface of the sea.  Sri Bhagavan advised us to observe the thoughts and see who the
thoughts are coming to, or ask Who am I?. Go deep, deep, deep inside, as if you are touching the bottom of the sea, your
breath is abeyance, searching for some precious pearls. Try to find out from where the thoughts arise.

Siimilarly, thoughts will appear from nowhere like the small crabs that come out of the wet sand on the beach.  They scurry
here and there and it is difficult to catch them.  We need to develop the ability to be still and alert so that when a powerful
thought, which normally overpowers us, arises, we are able to capture it and render it ineffective.  It is the identification
with thoughts which causes us distress and anxiety.  They are the origin of our suffering.  Like Lord Nataraja we should stamp
on the demon of ignorance that creates thoughts and render it useless.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Bhagavan and Pranayama - J. Punithavathy - M.P. Jayanti 2010.
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2013, 11:15:49 AM »


continues....

Pranayama means controlling the breath.  Throughout the day we are breathing in and out  If we control the breath, thoughts
will also be controlled.  If we are not able to immediately practice self inquiry we can use some hatha yoga practices to help.
In an easy posture, if possible, fold your tongue to back, close the throat and hold your breath.  Contract and tighten the anus
and pull it inside.  You can do this exercise as much as you can in a day.  This makes you calm and your body will be benefited.

Another technique mentioned in Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi  (Talks # 447), would be to exhale, count to eight and think
'I am not the body'. Next inhale through the nose and question 'Who am I?'.  When controlling the breath, count sixteeen and
think 'I am That'. I should emphasize these techniques are a primary aid to help us when thoughts overwhelm us and,
at a later time, they should be discarded once you can effortlessly engage in Self Inquiry.

Sri Bhagavan was asked whether watching the breath was a prerequisite for 'Who am I?'.  He said, 'All depends on a man's
pakva (his maturity and fitness).  Those who do not have the mental strength [ another translation of 'mental strength' is
preparedness gained through repeated practice] to concentrate or control their mind and direct it on the quest are advised         
to watch the breathing, since such watching will naturally and as a matter of course lead to cessation of thought and bring
the mind under control. Breath and mind arise from the same place and when one of them is controlled, the other is also
controlled. 

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Bhagavan and Pranayama - J. Punithavathy - M.P. Jayanti 2010.
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2013, 10:55:37 AM »

continues.....

'As a matter of fact, in the quest method, which is more correctly 'Whence am I?', which is what Sri Bhagavan teaches us
when He asks us to look within us for the source of 'I', and not merely 'Who am I?', we are not simply trying to eliminate
thought by saying  'we are not the body, not the senses, and so on' to reach what remains as the ultimate reality, but
we are trying to find whence the 'I' thought,  the ego within us arises.  The method contains within it, though implicitly
and not expressly, the watching of the breath.  When we watch from where the 'I' thought, the root of all thoughts,
springs, we are necessarily watching the source of the breath also, as the 'I' thought and the breath arise from the same
source. (Day by Day With Bhagavan, Devaraja Mudaliar entry dated 01.12.1945). 

In a chess game, the king should be protected from the beginning.  A good player should guard the king, the sense of 'I',
with every move carefully planned. Likewise, thoughts should be controlled with care and attention.  In worldly life and
spiritual life, we must watch our every step carefully.  Even though we walk much of the time when awake, when a situation
arises we have to be alert and jump to avoid trouble or even a threat to life.

Tayumanavar, a renowned Tamizh saint and poet, said that we can measure the ocean, make ropes from sand, and tame
the mad elephant; but we cannot control the mind.  But Sri Bhagavan says it is easier to attain God than in those earlier
days with His tried and true Brahmastram.  It is easy for the master and difficult for ajnanis like us;  however, we have no
choice but to make the effort and have faith in our guru's words.  We must try ! 

Devotee: I do not yet understand how it is to be done.

Maharshi: You are practicing breath control.  Mechanical breath control will not lead you to the goal.  It is only an aid.
While doing it mechanically take care to be alert in mind and remember the 'I' thought and seek its source.  Then you will
find that where breath sinks, the 'I' thought arises.  They sink and rise simultaneously.  The 'I' thought must sink along
with the breath.  Then, another luminous and infinite 'I'-'I' will become manifest, which will be continuous and unbroken.
That is the goal.  It goes by different names -- God, Self, Kundalini Sakti, Consciousness, Yoga, Bhakti, Jnana etc.,
(Talks No. 195.)

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                                   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Bhagavan and Pranayama - J. Punithavathy - M.P. Jayanti 2010.
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2013, 02:19:36 PM »
Dear all.

In today's post on Bhagavan and Pranayama, the verse of Tayumanavar mentioned by Sri Bhagavan is as under:
(This comes as Verse 8 of Tejomayanandam. 



கந்துக மதக்கரியை வசமா நடத்தலாங்
      கரடிவெம் புலிவாயையுங்
   கட்டலாம் ஒருசிங்கம் முதுகின்மேற் கொள்ளலாங்
      கட்செவி எடுத்தாட்டலாம்
வெந்தழலின் இரதம்வைத் தைந்துலோ கத்தையும்
      வேதித்து விற்றுண்ணலாம்
   வேறொருவர் காணாமல் உலகத் துலாவலாம்
      விண்ணவரை ஏவல்கொளலாஞ்
சந்ததமும் இளமையோ டிருக்கலாம் மற்றொரு
      சரீரத்தி னும்புகுதலாஞ்
   சலமேல் நடக்கலாங் கனல்மே லிருக்கலாந்
      தன்னிகரில் சித்திபெறலாம்
சிந்தையை அடக்கியே சும்மா இருக்கின்ற
      திறமரிது சத்தாகிஎன்
   சித்தமிசை குடிகொண்ட அறிவான தெய்வமே
      தேசோ மயானந்தமே. 8.

I am giving the English version in the next post.

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Bhagavan and Pranayama - J. Punithavathy - M.P. Jayanti 2010.
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2013, 02:22:04 PM »
This is the English translation by mountainman of the Verse 8 of Tejomayanandam:


Well may ye tame the elephant in mast
And bind the mouth of the bear and ferocious tiger.
Well may ye ride on the back of the lion
And take the cobra in your hand and make it dance.

Well may ye, placing mercury on blazing fire,
Alchemize the five base metals into gold
And sell them for a living.
And roam about in the world invisible to others.

Well may ye command celestial beings in your service
And live young eternally.

Well may ye transmigrate to another body,
Walk on water, sit on fire,
And attain siddhis incomparable;
But rarer by far is it to control
The mind and sit impassive.
Oh! Thou the Reality that eludes seeking!
The God of Knowledge that dwells in my thoughts!
Thou the Bliss Refulgent!

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Bhagavan and Pranayama - J. Punithavathy - M.P. Jayanti 2010.
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2013, 09:42:19 AM »


continues....

Once a man becomes a doctor, he is always a doctor, whether at home or in the hospital.  Likewise, one who practices Yoga
always remains a Yogi.  Sometimes we have to study for many years before receiving a diploma, but for spirituality we have to
practice throughout life.  A Yogi is not a Jnani.  He has to practice to attain Jnana.

Here are some examples, Sri Bhagavan used to explain our predicament.  If a cow is given grass inside its shed it will not
go wandering outside in search of forage.  A woman wore necklace on her neck and, unknowingly, was searching for it
all over the place. Only when someone pointed it out, did she become aware of it.  Ten idiots crossed a river and wanted
to make sure that all of them had arrived safely.  They each counted the group of ten but excluded themselves, and each
time they counted, they found only nine and were distraught that one of them was missing.  When a stranger came and
counted every one of the ten, he pointed out their mistake.  Once some musicians came to play before Sri Bhagavan.
Afterwards, during a discussion about the merits of the various instruments, Sri Bhagavan said that He Himself heard nothing
but the harmonium with its steady, monotonous, one pointed rhythm that was like the steady flow of attention to the Self.
In the same way, Jesus Christ said that the kingdom of heaven is with each of us.             
   
There is nothing to teach or learn in meditation but to understand the silence, in the present moment.  To be in the present
is meditation, for if we think of our past or future, we will lose the present.  We should always try to be in the present. It is
a small effort to sit through a few minutes or hours and meditate.  We must be immersed in it always.  We can practice
dhyana with open eyes.  If we practice dhyana with our eyes closed, thought will come when we open them.  Sri Bhagavan
said that is Sahaja Samadhi.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva. 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Bhagavan and Pranayama - J. Punithavathy - M.P. Jayanti 2010.
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2013, 10:30:17 AM »


continues....

While reading a novel or watching a movie we are not disturbed by surroundings, for we are fully absorbed. But sitting for
meditation and doing puja, our mind wanders.  Why?  It is because we are not fully involved.  If, as Sri Bhagavan says,
we are not the body, observe the body from outside and understand what the body is doing.

We don't find faults in ourselves, but in others.  When we step back and look from outside, we can observe our faults.
There are many atoms in a body, but we can't say each one is a body.  When everything is put together it is the body.
Likewise, everything in the universe is one, and inseparable.  We know this from the scriptures and the teachings  of
spiritual masters, but it is beyond our limited knowledge and experience.

Let us say, that your name is Rama.  You have been called Rama when you were five years old, when you were ten, fifteen,
twenty five, fifty, sixty, always you are Rama.  If someone calls your name, you answer.  In the mind, you don't think about
your age.  You are the same. In whatever way the body changes outwardly, inside you are the same. From this we can
understand that we are not the body.  From the teachings of scriptures and gurus, we know that there is no body.  We
do not know how honey tastes until we taste it. It is beyond our knowledge until we deliberately seek it.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Bhagavan and Pranayama - J. Punithavathy - M.P. Jayanti 2010.
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2013, 02:34:50 PM »

continues.....

We do all we can decorate the body.  We are conscious of how we look, whether the dress matches, and what others
think of us;  head to toe everything should be perfect according to our taste. But the machine within our body is working
non stop twenty four hours a day. Do we give any thought?  If we see it, it will stop.  If the thief knew who was being
watched, he would run away.  As a young mother who always keep a watch over the new born, keep a watch over your
thoughts.  A miser guards his treasure carefully from thieves.  Likewise, we should guard true knowledge from out thoughts.

A woman who walks with a water pot on her head keep her mind attentive always on the water pot.  We should focus on
our thoughts like a mother cat circling the new born kitten.  Like a day spent with a charismatic person in whose presence
we glow, we should spend a whole day attending to that which is important, our inner 'I'-thought.  All the turmoil will go
and the mind will become quiet.

Like small drops that make a huge ocean, all our small thoughts, gather and become heavy like a rock.  Right from the start
we should brush them away.  If we have an enemy, a negative thought against him will spontaneously rise up within us.
If we give way to it, hundreds more will gather and that person will become our permanent enemy.  If we brush away
the first thought immediately, that person has the possibility to become our friend.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.           

Subramanian.R

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Re: Bhagavan and Pranayama - J. Punithavathy - M.P. Jayanti 2010.
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2013, 09:18:46 AM »

continues.....

Love is God. Love everyone.  In the spiritual path, from Buddha to Sri Bhagavan to Gandhi, love is primary.  The arithmetic
of love is crazy.  If you divide it, it will multiply.  We should make friends, not break them, for, if we do, then the word 'ego'
echoes constantly and everywhere.  Even a street beggar's ego immediately rises up, if he gets one cup of rice more than
the others.  Whenever we hear praise about ourselves, the ego rises at once.  It is more dangerous than the cobra. 
What does the word 'ego' mean?  It means Edging God Out of the equation.  Let us not deviate from the straight path of
one pointed devotion into the jungle of thought and delusion.


concluded.

Arunachala Siva.